Live from the New Media session

Greetings from the New Media course, where the coding and “Tweening” are in full effect.

What’s Tween? Well, we won’t pretend to be experts (this Blog correspondent hadn’t opened Flash before in his life), but it’s a way of coding in Flash that allows you to build an Action Script into one frame instead of spreading it over many.

R. Scott Horner, multimedia director at the Sun-Sentinel is calmly leading the session. A bunch of us are first-time Flash users, however the session is intended for intermediate users, so our helpers are getting their work in.

Biggest impression thus far: Stop fearing Flash. We’ve put it off after hearing tales of its complicated nature. Hey, even Quark seemed daunting at one time.

Of course, getting an intro in a classroom environment certainly helps. You’d want a pretty killer tutorial program to learn this stuff on your own. This is the fourth New Media course of the year, and based on our experience and those of friends who have gone through other courses, it’s a worthy investment. Convince your organization to cough up the cash for a session when the tour is near by.

Fairly simple thus far, even for folks new to the program. We’ve been building actions for a friendly yellow smiley face. We’ve used codes to make our movie clip of the smiley face change locations, bounce, get bigger and smaller. Basic, but building blocks for more creative stuff.

Key lessons thus far:
Naming and “pathing” are critical. The name of each element and the “path” you take to script it have to be perfect, or your action isn’t going to work. It’s a common slip-up spot.

Two backslash strokes (//) will throw code or your own notes into, well, notes mode.

You can create actions within a movie that will make a smiley face blink, keep its eyes closed, frown, etc.

“Here’s where it starts to get interesting.” Oh boy. Better stop blogging and engage.

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